The legendary Bruce Lee, a martial artist and student of philosophy, lived his life as if it were a series of opportunities, challenges and celebrations. In that regard, you could argue that he was living la vida Roadmonkey in his own, Bruce Lee way.
(This is what happens when you stay up too late watching a HD-antenna free TV channels. But in this case, we think we’re onto something.)
There’s no arguing that the man had physical and moral courage. In April 1959, he boarded a steamship in Hong Kong, bound for San Francisco with $100 in his pocket (about $750 is today’s dollars). He was an iconoclast with a cinematic sense of humor. His willingness to live a life of action – that is, putting his beliefs and convictions on the line with demonstrable movement, almost regardless of circumstance – is the backbone of his legacy as an excellent adventurer.
He was also a kickass dancer; in 1958, he won Hong Kong’s Cha Cha championship.
“Knowing is not enough,” he is quoted as saying, “we must apply.” Also, “Willing is not enough; we must do.” Sounds like he was a Roadmonkey at heart.
Sure, on film, Bruce Lee had his famous I’m-gonna-kick-your-ass-and-nothing-you-can-do-about-it stare. But you can also almost see an inspired Bruce Lee in his movie-scene swagger building a playground for disadvantaged kids in a lost corner of the planet, chopping support beams with an iron fist, or digging post holes with his fingertips. Every movement was a potential workout for Mr. Lee. He seemed to have a good reason for almost everything he did.
And just in case you were preparing to be disappointed that we didn’t include one of his outrageously posed kung fu photos, relax. We have a sense of humor, too.